Louisiana Embraces Bitcoin With New Blockchain Basics Act


In a significant move for the cryptocurrency world, Louisiana has passed the “Blockchain Basics Act,” also known as House Bill 488. This legislation, championed by Congressman Mark Wright, brings substantial legal protections for Bitcoin and other digital assets within the state.

Announced by Dennis Porter, Co-founder and CEO of the Satoshi Action Fund, the new law aims to safeguard the rights of digital asset miners and users. Officially passed on June 19, the bill will come into effect on August 1, 2024. Its core provisions include legal protections for home digital asset miners, the right for digital asset users to self-custody, the right for citizens to use Bitcoin as a means of payment, and a ban on the creation of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). This legislation is based on the Satoshi Action Model Policy and places Louisiana alongside states like Oklahoma, Montana, and Arkansas in embracing Bitcoin-centric laws.

“The states are creating a blueprint for federal policy. It won’t be long until we see the impact in Washington,” said Wright in an interview with Forbes. He emphasized the importance of states acting as “laboratories of democracy” and the potential of Bitcoin to unify Americans across political lines.

The passage of this bill has garnered significant attention, with pro-crypto Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) expressing her excitement on X, stating, “States leading the way. This is why Bitcoiners should be American patriots. You can fight for your rights and WIN.” Lummis’ support of the Blockchain Basics Act comes amid a growing spotlight on politicians’ stance on cryptocurrencies in the lead-up to the U.S. Presidential Election in November 2024.

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Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has previously spoken out against CBDCs, calling them “very dangerous.” “As your president, I will never allow the creation of a central bank digital currency,” the presumptive Republican nominee said at a rally this past January. Meanwhile, current U.S. President Joe Biden has largely taken a pro-regulatory stance towards digital assets and has toyed with the idea of establishing a CBDC. Despite the two political rivals being virtually tied in official polls, recent data shows Louisiana has an estimated 57% disapproval rating of Biden. The latest Louisiana polling displayed by political election site 538 shows Trump leading Biden by 15%. If Trump gets elected, it may signal more Bitcoin-friendly policies at the national level.

As the political landscape continues to evolve, the success of Louisiana’s new Bitcoin legislation highlights the growing influence of state-level policies on national debates. The “Blockchain Basics Act” not only solidifies Louisiana’s stance on digital assets but also sets a precedent for other states to follow. With states like Louisiana taking proactive steps to protect and promote Bitcoin usage, it could pave the way for broader acceptance and integration of digital currencies across the United States.

This landmark legislation reflects the dynamic and rapidly changing world of cryptocurrencies. By providing a legal framework that supports innovation while protecting individual rights, Louisiana is positioning itself at the forefront of the digital financial revolution. As more states consider similar measures, the impact of these policies will likely resonate far beyond their borders, potentially shaping the future of digital currency regulation in America.